Tuesday, March 17
Wednesday, March 11
Going beyond the food matter, though, no matter what your faith, thoughts or beliefs, Self-Realization only can be obtained through self-inquiry with a clear, pure and reflective mind. It doesn’t matter much “what you believe” as it does “how” you are viewing your experience.
In Ayurveda, perhaps the most important factor for me as a Rawfoodist is the teachings on Sattva. This connects Ayurveda to the raw food lifestyle at a passionate, personal level. The Ayurvedic wisdom is that since food has a major effect on the mind and body, a Sattvic diet enhances both the health of the body as well as purity and strength of the mind.
So, what is Sattva? Sattva is the one of the three basic components of the Triguna. “Tri” stands for “three” and Guna is the “subtle” component. The other two components of the Triguna are Raja and Tamas. Tamas is the subtle base. It offers substance and inertia. It is like glue as it provides attachment. Raya is the fuel and energy that brings about passion, action and motion. Sattva is the purity and light. It is the closest to divinity. It is wisdom andknowledge and understanding.
In science, we understand that all things are made up of the basic particles of electrons and protons and neutrons and photons. Ayurveda teaches that the Triguna is what makes these particles exist. Therefore, the Gunas become the very fabric of creation and influence the behavior of all things. The Triguna are viewed as “subtle” because they are tangible, not physical in nature and cannot be seen with any scientific instruments. They are intangible. These three subtle components can only be perceived by the subtle sense organs and our sixth sense of perception.
So, then the question then becomes if Sattva is purity and wisdom and knowledge, “What is a Sattvic diet and how do we find it? I must admit finding the answer to this question is perhaps like finding the fountain of youth. But there is much Raja and Tamas energy to wade through. With all the different views and opinions and diets, who has the authority for saying that certain foods are Sattvic? There is so much information out there about “diets” and what is best for mankind. Equally, there is also much disagreement among experts and gurus on their school of though and background. So, where do we seek to find the truth? Well, let’s simplify it…..at a basic level, a Sattvic food is one that leads to good health, mental clarity, poise, and spiritual advancement.
Let’s look at Ayurveda’s teaching on a Sattvic Diet?
Sattva foods are those that will cause the body to gain health and for the mind to be calm and peaceful. This is what constitutes the Sattvic diet. To some extent, this requires knowing the needs of one’s own body and being sensitive to the effects of various foods on our system. Foods which are very suitable and nutritious for one person may not be right for another. Common sense and wisdom are the essential ingredients to find the best Sattvic diet for yourself.
In terms of particular foods to be eaten, the raw food gurus and spiritual yogi’s have all answered this question, but the answers have different variations.
One common element to an Ayurveda Sattvic diet and Raw foods is that they are both primarily vegetarian. Vedic Spiritual texts elevate cows to sacred status. It also favors raw butter for consumption especially by children or those convalescing. I suppose one could reasonably argue that dairy products (such as yogurt, milk, lassi, etc.) also belong to the Sattvic food category. And Raw foodists are generally supporters of raw milk and dairy products. From my own personal clinical experience, I would even suggest that many lacto-intolerant individuals are actually sensitive to the pasteurization and not necessarily the milk.
In Ayurveda, food, any food that is obtained respectfully with kindness, love, and humane treatment is Sattvic. It is common knowledge that “heat” or “fire” will destroy (rajas energy), I will add and further assumption that any “living food” that is “cooked” is no longer Sattvic…it becomes rajasic. According to the Vedic principle of Ahimsa (nonviolence), any food procured through violence to animals (and I add to living food) cannot be considered Sattvic.
According to Ayurveda, taste and the effects of taste on our mind and body is very important. Foods which are too bitter, sour, salty, pungent, dry, and hot can lead to pain, distress, and disease of the body. Interestingly, Vedic texts also teach that foods cooked more than three hours before being eaten, foods which are tasteless, stale, putrid, decomposed and unclean should be avoided by spiritual aspirants and those who seek excellent physical and mental health. Well, what about all those processed foods in our kitchen cupboards. How long ago were they “cooked” and preserved before landing on our shelves?
Interesting the Ayurvedic tests were written many thousands of years ago before overcooking and over-processing became a problem to mankind. In Bhagavad-Gita (Vedic texts), Sri Krishna states, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it:’ . To me this seems to suggest that Sri Krishna is sanctioning a diet based on leaves and fruits and water as the best one for spiritual growth. I am no scholar on the Bhagavad-Gita, but my liberal interpretation of this verse would be that the Sattvic diet is generally plant based and includes all or most vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, etc
My personal experiences
Having been raised with a Standard American Diet and experimented with a variety of foods, I feel that a vegetarian diet can be as healthy or unhealthy. For example, if I am a lacto-vegetarian and eat too many pizza pieces, the feeling of discomfort is likely to follow. I believe this also holds if one eats bucket loads of ice cream or chocolates or sweets or nuts on a frequent basis. So, is vegetarian diet healthy? It depends!
The point is that a vegetarian diet can be either healthy or unhealthy depending on the nature of food eaten as well as the quantity of food consumed. Ayurveda emphasizes moderation in eating and sleeping. “There is no possibility of ones’ becoming a yogi if one eats too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.” Clearly, over consumption of food leads to problems and one can logically conclude that the quantity of food consumed is probably an important element in a diet being considered Sattvic. In a world of “supersized” foods, we can safely assume our society lives of Tamas diet.
Sattvic diet is also a matter of degree. Some diets may be very Sattvic, while others may be moderately Sattvic. Finally, the thoughts and the emotional balance while eating the food has an effect on our system and should be considered. This is why in many religions, prayers and showing of gratitude for the food being consumed is offered. This mental state while eating helps the diet become more Sattvic.
What does it all mean?
So what does it all mean and what are the lessons from Ayurveda and this discussion of the Sattvic, Raw diet? Here is what I think some of the lessons are. See if you agree.
Whatsoever you eat, eat in moderation (easier said than done!).
Educate yourself on proper nutrition, be sensitive to your body, and see what foods work for you.
- Emphasize fresh vegetables and fruits and eat a diet which is mostly plant-based.
- Do not eat foods which are too salty, bitter, or have gone stale and putrid.
- Regardless of the food being eaten, eat with gratitude, prayerful attitude, and with mental poise.
- Chew the food carefully and taste it deeply without rushing.
There are literally thousands of great sources on the web and hundreds of books in stores to help you educate yourself on the Raw food, vegetarianism, Ayurveda and nutrition. Go do some research and find out for yourself! The answer lies within the individual.
Sunday, March 8
My daughter whispered a subtle complaint the other day that we never have Sunday the "traditional" Sunday breakies any more. We all have fond memories of the Sunday morning gatherings. Since going RAW, it just isn't the same sipping Smoothies at the table. I don't miss the bacon or the eggs, but I do miss the Sunday morning sharing at the breakfast table.
So, I decided to add some sweetness my daughters Sunday morning and make Banana Blueberry Crepes that we could enjoy as a family at the table. She actually has an aversion to bananas (beleive it or not), but she loved these healthy treats. And, they were so simple to make.....much faster than bacon and eggs and less clean-up too!
I prepared the crepes the night before. Just before I went to bed, I put the dehydrator on very low.
1 Lemon Juiced
1/2 inch cube of raw ginger
1 tsp agave nectar
Blend completely and pour over a teflex sheet into round circles.
1/2 cup soaked (overnight) cashews
1 tsp vanilla bean
touch of sweetner (I add 2 pcs of yacon root)
Blend in a high speed blender until creamy. Put aside for 10 minutes or so until it thickens
Choice of fresh fruit - we love blueberries. If you have some on hand, crumbled Raw chocolate could also be added.
Lay down crepe and lather with cashew cream. Top with fresh fruit. Roll up tightly. If the cream isn't thickened, it will be difficult to roll...but not impossible.
Enjoy! These are so easy...and so good. It will be a Sunday morning sharing from now on!
Tuesday, March 3
As promised to many ...here is the MINERALS galore recipe!
1/2 Tbs fresh ginger root, grated
2 Tbs coconut oil (optional)
2 tbs lecithin powder (optional)
2 tsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup tamari or nama shoyu
Natural Sea Salt to taste
Toppings:1 small avocado, diced1/3 cup sliced cherry tomatoes1/3 cup thinly sliced radish1/3 cup thinly sliced red pepper1/3 cup thinly sliced yellow pepperHandful cilantro leavesHandful sesame seeds Blend the coconut with 2 cups water until smooth. Then add the remaining water and blend until a coconut milk forms.Finely grind the lemon grass, sesame seeds, red chili flakes in a high speed blender or coffee grinder. Add these, along with the rest of the broth and ingredients to the 'coconut milk' and blend for a few seconds until very smooth. Strain and discard the pulp (optional).Note: If cilantro roots are not available, use stalks. However the disadvantage is that it will give the soup a greenish tint.
In nature, all natural carnivores eat (devour) RAW flesh and the slaughter house smell is disgusting to humans. It is funny how we have to change the "name" of meat to make them more appealing to humans. We call cow beef, steak or veal: a pig, ham or bacon. A juicy ozzing steak is actually a cow's blood and lymph. This is the truth.
And, then we distort things further by naming natural foods with animal qualities: "skin" and "flesh" of fruit; "meat" of nuts, etc.. What strange beings we are!
There are many, many reasons why humans should not eat meat (our teeth, lack of claws, microbal tolerance, intestinal flora, liver size, injected hormones and drugs, violent killings, etc.), but the most compelling, for me, is the length and PH condition of our intestinal tract. A carnivore's digestive tract is on average 3 times the length of the torso. The carnivore requires extremely acid secretions for rapid digestion to prevent the putrefection of protiens and fats. Humans tract is on average 12 times the length of our torso (approx. 30 feet). This allows for slow absorption of sugars and water-borne nutrients. This means that meat literally rots, decomposes and putrefies in the human digestive tract and the acid bi-product is deadly. We do not have the capability (the enzyme uricase) to metabolize and neutralize this strong acid. Therefore, the human body will use calcium (the alkaline mineral) depleting our natural and needed reserves. The resulting urate crystals contribute to disease of gout, arthritis, rheumatism, bursitis and perhaps the decision to supplement with calcium (see above).
Now, this is just one reason....I used to eat meat...but not now!
Clients will often tell me that they experience an increase in energy and an apparent and sometimes quick relief from health challenges due to their supplementation. So, this topic can be very confusing. I will suggest that although there appears to be relief, most often what one is occuring is a shift of symptoms, satiation and/or compromised nutrition. It is not a true healing, homeostatis or the peace of true health. Getting rid of symptoms does not necessarily translate to true health (and happiness). It often means one is trading in one set of symptoms for another and they not addressing the underlying cause.
Nutrition, despite our technological advances, is actually still a very young science. We can not, not do I think should we try to duplicate the brillant, balance of nutrients found in whole, fresh plants. It is estimated that we may only be aware of 10% of the nutrients and phytonutrients (plant) in nature. Wow! We have a lot to learn. Nature packages nutrients in a precise combination that work together as cofactors. How can removing the cofactors through extraction and refining produce less than optimal results? In my opinion it can't. It is a fragmented approach and we are not addressing why our body is lacking the nutrient in the first place.
For example, most women over 50 are concerned about calcium levels. And, as such, seek supplementation. They do not consider the foods or habits that create a loss or interference of calcium or calcium uptake. They often do not consider possible adverse effects of taking too much calcium or the bioavailabilty of one form of calcium over another. However, more importantly, they do not question taking a mineral in an isolated form. Calcium in nature comes "packaged" in a perfect blend. How can humans intelligently claim that a specific nutrient is the answer? We can't!
Health educator T.C.Fry said "many drugs, diets, and supplements are sold with a admonition to "consult your physician" before consuming them. But is there is value in looking inot the medical profession for nutritional advice?" I find this statement ammusing and troubling. It was only in 2004 that it became mandatory for US medical schools to have a single course on nutrition. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that challenged doctors against their patiencts in a test of basic nutrition. The patients won! (source: Micehal Gregor, Atkins facts). We have to educate ourselves further. This is the only way we will find true healing.
It is important to familiarize yourself with the elements of nature and to understand that we can not duplicate or even come close to the healing power of whole, organic, raw foods. At this point in history when most diseases stem from the realization we are eating ourselves to death, this topic is very, very important to the health and well-being of mankind. We are at a critical and important time in human history. I think it is time we all started to love ourselves in a great capacity and nourish our bodies with foods that love us back. Let's embrace "Biophillia" - the love of nature!
Consider a Natural Health and Nutritional Consultation with Nature's Elements
Sunday, March 1
These are obvious illustrations, yet the obvious is sometimes over - looked. Generally most people agree that diet and "food" is the root cause of their ailments. Most people will admit that making changes and improving their eating habits is the most important factor for their optimal health. Yet, for many, there is a barrier, a resistence or perhaps a lethargy to making this change. In North America we have an absolute obesity crisis and the craziness of this situation is getting worse. We spend billions on processed foods and billions on fad fitness and diet programs. We have millions of people feeling down, fatigued, lethargic. What is the problem and is there is simple solution?
I am always trying to understand this "barrier". What stops a person in the throws of obesity caused diseases or dysfunctions, depression, stress, diabetes or heart disease, etc., from making changes that could eradicate and eliminate their dis-ease? Is there a "common obstacle to cure" that, if removed, will help everyone?
I suppose the answer to all these questions is the "golden key" to health. Each person is so incredibly unique and individual that there are perhaps as many answers as there are questions.
However, I do firmly believe there is a common golden thread that sparkles an answer for everyone who is "living". This thread is teaching some one about the sacred science of nutrition at a fundamental level. Although the topic "science of nutrition" may sound technical, it is actually very simple. At a fundamental level, "food" is physical fuel and each person requires their own unique blend of sustanence. Food is simply required energy for living As already stated, most people agree that their diet is the cause of their ailments. So, if we get this, then what is wrong, why aren't improving and changing? I think we are missing an understanding that FOOD is ENERGY and energy is the basis of ALL life.
So, let's look at this "energy" concept! Life is energy whether you talk in terms of growing a garden, having a tought, whispering a prayer, developing a personality, chaning our mind, witnessing nature, or going through the business of daily living. All things, physical, emotional and spiritual are cellular oscilllations and vibrations. All things that we perceive and experience are a form of energy. Energy is the basis of all life.
When it comes to food, though, I think we often forget that food is energy. Each food source is a oscillation of energy in the form a enzymes and nutrition prepared, willing and charged to offer our beings energy. The primary purpose of our "food" is to offer "life". Food is the transformation or a mutation of the energy of the five great elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) combining to offer us living sustenance. We need a balance of the elements for perfect energy transmuted into perfect living.
An imbalance of any of the elements will elminate or obstruct energetic growth. If you give a plant too much or little water, it will drown and stuggle for its life. Fire will literally burn up energy and destroy life. If one truly understands this simple concept, then the transition to understanding how food becomes an obstacle to cure or why most "fad" diets fail is actually quite simple. The simple fact is that cooking (fire) kills. It wipes out the "energy" of the food. Cooking kills, period!
If the secret to health all starts with this one concept, then why on earth do we continue to "cook" our food? If food is energy and if "cooking" destroy the energy, then "cooking" becomes the number one "obstacle" to cure for most people. Although we need our own unique and individual balance of food energy, understanding and removing this one "obstacle" can make such a huge difference for people.
I am not suggesting the one should go 100% raw overnight. I suggesting you experiment by "adding" or "increasing" living, whole foods in higher and greater amounts. This "adding" factor makes a huge difference in people's lives. I see it over and over again. The more living energy you offer your body, there is a cooresponding emotional and spiritual awakening too. We simply become more alive in energy. We see things with greater clarity. We become far more intuitive therefore, we make greater changes for our healthy benefit that creates a further awakening that causes more live and energy. We start to crave what we need. And, we add more living foods. It is cyclical and it is quite an amazing experience. So, don't start by being 100% raw, but if you do start to add more raw, you will end up close to or at 100% because it is the law of energy. It is a beautiful transition of incredible cyclical transformations.
So, in my opinion, the greatest obstacle to cure in our times is "cooking" our foods. If I can convince one person to increase their living foods by 10-20-30 percent, I know it will cause a chain reaction of energetic radiance. This is the most important realization any HEALER can make.